Stephanopoulos is best known today as the co-anchor of Good Morning America and host of This Week with George Stephanopoulos, the longtime Sunday-morning political program. He is also the chief political correspondent and co-anchor of special events for the network.
Stephanopoulos first gained national prominence in a series of high-profile positions under Bill Clinton. He worked on Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992 and went on to serve in the White House from 1993 to 1996, first as communications director and later as senior adviser for policy and strategy. (His best-selling 2000 memoir, All Too Human: A Political Education, looked back at life on the campaign trail and in the White House.)
A 1982 summa cum laude graduate of Columbia College, Stephanopoulos returned to the University upon leaving the White House near the end of Clinton’s first term. He served as a visiting professor at Columbia and SIPA from Spring 1997 through Fall 1998, maintaining an office in the International Affairs Building.
“We are excited to welcome George Stephanopoulos back to campus and to introduce him to our gifted SIPA students,” the dean wrote in a letter to the SIPA community.
The co-presidents of SIPASA, the student association, offered positive words on the selection.
“George Stephanopoulos's experience at the busy intersection of politics and media should offer an interesting perspective for SIPA's graduating students,” said co-president Paul Hersh MIA ’13. “It also serves as a reminder of the increasingly central and influential role the media plays in the public discourse.”
“I think Mr. Stephanopoulos is an exciting choice as our graduation-day speaker,” said co-president Akshay Verma, MPA ’13. “Students always enjoy hearing from Columbia alumni with personal connections to SIPA.”